How Employers Can Approach March Madness Office Betting Pools

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Nandini Sane spoke with SHRM about how employers can handle office pools with March Madness. "An office pool can be a great way to boost morale, especially now, when many employees continue to work remotely and it can be a challenge to keep employees engaged," said Nandini. "An office pool—like a March Madness tournament—can be a fun way to get employees excited and promote a friendly rivalry." "In most states, office betting pools are outlawed if money is involved," she said. "This can get particularly challenging if an employer has employees in many different states where the laws regarding office gambling vary." For example, if one participant takes money from someone in a state where pool betting is not legal, the whole pool may be against the law. If money will be exchanged, Nandini recommended that employers consult with an employment attorney and carefully craft rules for the office pool that comply with the applicable state and local laws. Most of the legal issues associated with office pools can be avoided if employers keep money out of the pools, she explained. 

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